A Horse Racing Legend Moves On

He passed on as he lived in horse racing – with dignity and surrounded by admirers. Twenty-seven is a good age for a horse, but that does not reduce anyone’s sorrow at the passing away of Desert Orchid. Few other thoroughbreds have evinced such universal respect in the world of horse racing.

Grey Mirage and Flower Child produced this magnificent thoroughbred, and their spirits must have beamed at the fantastic horse racing exploits of their foal! Desert Orchid was such a lovable animal that his fan following did not diminish in any way even after he retired from the bustle of horse racing. He was an elegant and uniform shade of grey, was gelded, and had the stamina and courage to be a steeplechase participant much feared by the competition. One can imagine the strength of his character from the fact of his complete recovery from a heavy fall early in his career. Lesser horses would have exited the tough world of horse racing with lesser injuries, but Desert Orchid was as rare in bravery and resilience as his name might suggest.

Horse racing followers of 1989 vintage will remember Desert Orchid with special awe. His performance left over 50 thousand spectators at the Cheltenham Gold Cup speechless, even as they applauded his superlative performance. Inclement weather favored lighter competitors, but Desert Orchid would have none of it. He ploughed through a soggy field with such grit that even his trainer and rider were amazed! This historic race remains one of the most memorable exploits of a thoroughbred with only genes of tireless determination in his tough sinews. It is difficult to think of a horse, even in any other area, which could stand up to the vaulted horse racing heights of Desert Orchid.

Desert Orchid was dignified and regal in his bearing. He took falls and wins in his stride with matching equanimity. Horse racing enthusiasts, who spend much time in the company of animals, recall his noble and calm bearing with great affection, and his indomitable spirit with eternal respect. He has passed on as he lived and raced-without a fuss and seemingly in a world of his own.

Rest in Peace, Desert Orchid.